Let’s just jump right in! Complete this sentence. When people come to my website I want them to ___________________.
Whatever is in this blank for you is the reason you need Google Analytics to test and change your site to make this happen. When looking at your analytics, it can seem really overwhelming and hard to know what this really means for you. I am breaking it down for you with some key features, and how they may apply to you. You can download my worksheet to make tracking and testing easy here.
If you are totally new to Google Analytics start your account here, and follow the setup instructions from Google, or your theme. Then, wait a month and follow the suggestions below.
You can get a ton of information from Google Analytics, but the trick is deciding what applies to helping you achieve your ultimate goal of selling your product or service.
The three sections you want to look at are audience, acquisition, and behavior.
1. Audience – Audience overview outlines users, average time on site, bounce rate, and new vs returning visitors. Users will tell you how many people have actually visited your site. This is what you want to check to see if your efforts are drawing more people to your site.
Average time – When looking at this number think about what kind of site you have. With a one page site, generally if your engagement is more than a minute pat yourself on the back. If you have lots of content or products 5 or more minutes is pretty good.
Bounce rate – This is when people go to your site and immediately leave. This number can vary for many reasons. If you are running a campaign and not seeing great results, you may want to check this number and the referrals for your site. Make sure your ad and your site message match. If your number is really high, to get a good idea of what is happening look at the average time people spend on your site and your referral links.
New vs Returning Visitors. This will give you insight that will help you tweak your site for your visitors. What this number means for you depends on what kind of site you have. For example, if you have an e-commerce site and your number of returning visitors is low, then you need to figure out either how to market to the right people for your products, or how to change your products to fit the needs of the people that are finding your site.
Mobile – Did you know that in general a about 40% of people view sites from a mobile device? You can check your own number here. The bottom line is make sure your site looks good on a mobile device so it doesn’t cost you customers or clients.
2. Acquisition – Acquisition overview shows how people are finding your site. All of these categories will give you access to the actual links when you click them. Awesome right!
Direct – This means people are accessing your site with a direct link. An example would be through email or typing in your web address.
Organic – Wonder if your site, blog post, or items are indexing well with Google? This is your jam.
Referral – This is all visitors coming to your site through a link on another site. This would be a number to watch if you or someone else were promoting your site through a post with a link.
Social – This is all traffic coming from social media sites. If you launch a Facebook campaign, for example, and you want to see if it is working you could look here.
3. Behavior – Behavior overview is where you want to go to see what content is bringing people to your site. This will give you great insight into your audience and how to serve them better.